YMCA Short Course Nationals Canceled For First Time Since 1947

The 2020 YMCA Short Course National Championships, scheduled for March 30-April 3 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, will be canceled in response to developments in the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

YMCA of the USA staff was informed in an email obtained by SwimSwam that it must cancel all Y-hosted in-person events through April 30, including “trainings, meetings requiring travel, and the national swim championships.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Executive leadership has decided to implement policies to reduce the risk to our staff and their families. Regardless of the concern level, it is our social responsibility to help protect vulnerable populations and keep communities strong,” Chief Human Resources Officer Kate Wollensak wrote.

The meet was expected to draw 1,400 swimmers from around the nation. Short Course YMCA national championships have been held yearly since 1923, with the only prior cancelations coming in 1942-45 for World World II, and in 1947.

YMCA Nationals is now the most prominent of a slew of age group-level meets to be canceled Tuesday, which also includes multiple junior Olympic championship meets. There is no word yet on if the upcoming NCAA Championships across all three divisions will be impacted, but notably, Greensboro is also hosting Division III’s meet.

Full email from YMCA of the USA Chief Human Resources Officer Kate Wollensak:

Dear Y-USA staff,

The Executive Team met this morning to discuss continuing developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and address the health and safety of all Y-USA staff and their families.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Executive leadership has decided to implement policies to reduce the risk to our staff and their families. Regardless of the concern level, it is our social responsibility to help protect vulnerable populations and keep communities strong.

Effective March 11, all Y-USA staff in both Chicago and DC offices are mandated to work remote through March 27.

We will re-evaluate this policy in the coming weeks and update staff by March 26 if they will be expected to resume working from the office on March 30.

Additionally, Y-USA staff are instructed to:

  • Cancel all business travel through March 27
  • Cancel all Y-USA hosted in-person events through April 30, including trainings, meetings requiring travel, and national swim championships

Note: While NAYDO and State Alliance meetings are not hosted by Y-USA, we are sharing our decision with the organizers to inform their decision-making.

  • Hold off booking any new business travel until further notice

Guidelines for Staff

Thank you in advance for complying with these mandates. Your supervisor will work with you to ensure a smooth transition and help you remain productive under these temporary work conditions. Please review the following tips and work quickly to prioritize any action steps that are needed for your success.

  1. Share your cell phone number with your supervisor and those on your team who may need it on a temporary basis.
  2. Review all upcoming meetings through March 27 and make arrangements to either postpone or convert them to virtual meetings. This may include canceling food orders.
  3. Test your technology today (Skype, Teams, and other virtual tools) to ensure you will be able to work from home uninterrupted. Our IT Service Desk can be reached via email or phone: 312-667-5012.
  4. If you are currently out of the office or on vacation, you will be permitted to access 101 and the DC office to retrieve needed belongings as needed and only for this purpose.
  5. Stay tuned for more information as we work quickly to expand on more action steps and respond to frequently asked questions. Y-USA will continue to use email as our primary method of communicating updates and we will use The Loop to keep the lines of communication open with staff for non-urgent questions or concerns.

A reminder that these decisions were made out of an abundance of caution and not resulting from any specific risk factors here at Y-USA.

If you have immediate questions about these temporary arrangements, please reach out to your supervisor.

145
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
145 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Beam
1 year ago

plus if you agree, minus if you disagree.

Woke Stasi
Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

I agree with the majority on this one. Let’s just hope that we don’t “do a full Italy.” You may have read that Italy is planning to introduce a large-scale moratorium on debt repayments, including mortgages, to help families and businesses cope with the coronavirus outbreak. (Of course, Italy’s financial system has nowhere near the strength and resilience of the US one has.) My gut feel (and I hope I’m right on this): three months from now in June, we’re going to look back and think to ourselves, “What was that all about?”

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Woke Stasi
1 year ago

You’re obviously not looking at the Johns Hopkins interactive tracker. Cases in the U.S. are doubling every 48-72 hours, and once we have widespread testing, it will be rampant.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

I don’t know if it’s doubling, but a good dashboard none the less. Pay close attention to the chart in the lower left hand corner. Notice it’s leveling out in mainland China.
https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

swimusa
Reply to  Woke Stasi
1 year ago

No we won’t. We’ll either look back and think “whew that was close” or we’ll be too poor off to look back and reflect at all.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  swimusa
1 year ago

You figure it’s slowing down in China with 80,000 cases and 3162 deaths reported in a nation with a population of ~1.47 billion people. I don’t even think we’ll look back and say that was close. We’ll look back and wonder why did
we go through such extreme measures.

You call this "extreme"?!
Reply to  Irish Ringer
1 year ago

Have you read anything about what measures China had to take to get it under control (after letting it get out of control initially)? What we’re doing now in the US is borderline negligent compared to the amount of lockdown that happened there once the story could no longer be controlled.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  You call this "extreme"?!
1 year ago

Yes?! I call this extreme based on my past experience living in the US, but if you can recall a similar event in the US in your lifetime please do share.

SwimUSA
Reply to  Irish Ringer
1 year ago

Why do you think it needs to have a precedent in order to be taken seriously? Just because a hurricane had never destroyed New Orleans before Katrina doesn’t mean Katrina wasn’t catastrophic.

On what are you basing your opinion that this is an overreaction? On the mortality rate? The rate of infection and the mechanism of infection? The geographical spread? The repeated failed attempts at containment?

I get that it hasn’t personally impacted you yet; but that seems like a pretty self-centered reason to argue against precautionary containment measures.

SSesame
Reply to  You call this "extreme"?!
1 year ago

Can’t agree more. I lived in Wuhan for the first 25 years of my life and all my family and friends are still there. They, like millions of people, have stayed inside their apartments for almost 50 days. Most of them do not complain about the extreme measures, because they witnessed how things got scary and out of control. Everyone I talked with has a close connection that passed way, and can share sad stories about how the healthcare system being overwhelmed and people simply couldn’t get the care they need, whether they have COVID-19, or cancer, kidney failure, a broken ankle. This happened when people did not know this novel coronavirus is highly contagious and did NOTHING to slow… Read more »

SSesame
Reply to  SSesame
1 year ago

BTW, I am a mom of a 14-year old who got his first sectional cuts this season and is 0.01 second away from a team record he had been working so hard towards. We just learned the remaining local meets had already been cancelled. So it’s not like I don’t understand what all these mean to swimmers. There are priorities.

Ymca Coronavirus expert
Reply to  Woke Stasi
1 year ago

No this is not true, Italy has gotten worse over the past 2 weeks. We will be in lockdown soon and all forced to stay at home. Without it we will not flatten the curve and many many will die.

NICK
Reply to  James Beam
1 year ago

plus if you are a swim fan, minus if you are an epidemiologist (and a swim fan)

Anonymous
Reply to  NICK
1 year ago

With you. Microbiologist. Knowledge is power!

Swimmy
1 year ago

Do we think USA swimming will release tougher olympic trial cuts to minimize the number of athletes attending?

SwimDadNJ
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

They simply can not tell someone who worked the past 4 years to qualify and got their cut that they can’t attend. Simply can’t do that.

Swimmy
Reply to  SwimDadNJ
1 year ago

Better than them canceling the meet though

DawgTalk
Reply to  SwimDadNJ
1 year ago

Tell that to Jimmy Carter.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SwimDadNJ
1 year ago

Uh, yeah they can. That problematic little thing called public welfare trumps it.

Admin
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

I think this would only happen as an absolute last resort. Like, if the state government said “you have to get this under 1000 people or you can’t have it,” and dropping the cuts was the only way to save the meet.

Trials are still a long way away. So, the good news is that USA Swimming has time to “wait and see.”

Swimmy
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

That’s the way I see it, I brought it up because this and y nats are similarly sized meets

Alex
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

They could do what they do for the Boston Marathon; even if you qualify you have to have one of the top [insert number] times to be able to run in the marathon.

Stinky
Reply to  Alex
1 year ago

Which is similar to how NCAAs work with the “A” and “B” cuts.
As a last resort (vs cancelling altogether) it’s not the worst idea. Better than having a committee pick the team.
However Olympic qualifying criteria is a tough one to change especially after it has been announced, USOPC is involved in approving it and you know there would be legal challenges all over the place.

Stinky
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

Well the more Sectionals that are canceled the fewer Trials cuts there will probably be. I would guess that swimmers who would have gotten Trials cuts at a Sectionals are more likely to be Trials participants but not contenders for a US spot at the Olympics.

Ladyvoldisser
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

Tokyo aint happening!!!

Patrick
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

They’re proposing a postponement.

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

lmao “you only have the cut by .1? Sorry buddy, you probably have the virus… only swimmers that have the cut by .5 or more are deemed safe”.

SwimFan00
1 year ago

It would seem like they would now cancel D3 Nationals. Are there on word on if NYU, MIT and Amherst would even be in attendance?

Anon
Reply to  SwimFan00
1 year ago

Amherst just decide to hold remote classes for the next two weeks and I believe NYU is till April. No word on MIT but heard that other schools in area are doing similar.

Swimmlmstl
Reply to  Anon
1 year ago

My daughter was supposed to visit MIT for recruiting and we received an email said they have cancelled all visits for the spring semester

MellowMike
Reply to  Anon
1 year ago

MIT and Harvard are moving to online classes after spring break. I believe that everyone who lives on MIT’s campus needs to be out in a week (but I think there are exemptions)

Ddb
Reply to  MellowMike
1 year ago

Johns Hopkins as well (DIII swim team)

Swim fan
Reply to  SwimFan00
1 year ago

This was decided by the YMCA it seems because it’s about in-person Y-hosted events so D3 nationals wouldn’t be affected (I would believe) by this.

DMacNCheez
Reply to  SwimFan00
1 year ago

It is important to note however that this was the YMCA organization cancelling all of their events until April 30, which happened to include nationals. Greensboro and the natatorium itself did not cancel ynats, so there’s no reason to assume (yet) that all events there, like the D3 swimming champs, will be cancelled. That’s up to the NCAA and Greensboro.

Swimman217
Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

You just not be watching CNN…

GetOverIt
Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

This also isn’t official. The email was a recommendation and nothing has been canceled.

Admin
Reply to  GetOverIt
1 year ago

In your world, are mere “recommendations” preceded by the words “Additionally, Y-USA staff are instructed to:”?

Barbotus
Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

From a couple of hours ago….

NCAA statement on COVID-19 and sporting events
March 10, 2020 1:13pm
NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play. As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.

– Mark Emmert, NCAA president

JDF
Reply to  Barbotus
1 year ago

more rational common sense position by NCAA…. will we cancel events in next years due to number of deaths from influenza??????

Swim Coach
1 year ago

Thanks for posting this before official word was sent out… so now our swimmers will find out on a website. Way to go.

longtimeinternetuser
Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

I’m sorry, it’s 2020. Most of the things your children learn in life will be learned on a website. And, newsflash, they prefer it that way.

It’s nobody else’s fault that you didn’t tell your athletes immediately, that’s on you.

If parents believe that they aren’t emotionally mature enough to handle “learning about something on a website,” then the obligation is on the parents to keep their kids “off the internet.”

I understand that you’re upset that your meet was cancelled. What I don’t understand is the need to lash out and start throwing blame around, as if swimmers were going to be any less upset regardless of how they found out.

Patrick Collins
Reply to  longtimeinternetuser
1 year ago

I believe this is partly because there has been ZERO OFFICIAL WORD from Y of the USA

longtimeinternetuser
Reply to  Patrick Collins
1 year ago

You don’t think that an email from an executive of the organization to the entire national staff counts as official word?

Or do you think that ss just made up the entire email above and that it never happened?

Patrick Collins
Reply to  longtimeinternetuser
1 year ago

Information needs to then be disseminated. I am not challenging the content of the email rather on how it was not communicated

Swim Coach
Reply to  longtimeinternetuser
1 year ago

wow! I am sorry that I would have preferred to have official word that I can than talk to my athletes in person tonight at practice. Texting and email is a horrible way to notify people of bad news. It’s not that they are incapable of handling disappointment… it’s that as their coach and our team culture that we support each other. Pretty sure I wasn’t lashing out at your personally… just prefer to not have things posted before the teams were actually notified.

Sccoach
Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

Lol… are you stuck in the 1980’s?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

It’s cool, though. Just text them their workouts and kick back with a couple brewskies.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

were you hoping to have enough time to run off some leaflets about it on the mimeograph for distribution to your team?

TellThemUpFront
Reply to  longtimeinternetuser
1 year ago

Yep. I told my kids mid practice immediately. And the parents via text immediately. They were devastated, naturally, but respected me a lot more for dropping it on them myself. It goes a long way.

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

Doesn’t change the fact that the meet is cancelled…

Trying to get recruited
1 year ago

That’s case boys I’m not goin to college

Meat
Reply to  Trying to get recruited
1 year ago

How does not swimming at y nats affect not going to college?

Reply to  Meat
1 year ago

I think this comment was maybe a joke. But a big drop in times could get swimmers recruited by different schools they’re interested in or could get them better scholarship offers. Kinda throws a wrench in things when you’re counting on doing well at a certain meet and then it gets cancelled.

Trying to get recruited
Reply to  Meat
1 year ago

Need to post best times to impress college coaches 🥺

Swimmy
Reply to  Trying to get recruited
1 year ago

Worse comes to worse get your coach to set up the timing system at your pool and race and record to send to college coaches

DBswims
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

MaN, i WaS sO mAd, I pUt On A sUiT aNd SwAm a 50.7 100 FlY iN pRaCtIcE. mY cOaCh TiMeD iT.

Thats why we dont do that

SkiSki
Reply to  DBswims
1 year ago

It could work with video evidence without any cuts.

swimgeek
Reply to  DBswims
1 year ago

Video takes care of the “my coach timed it” problem. That said, I agree it’s hard to throw down times in your practice pool.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Trying to get recruited
1 year ago

Or find some smaller meets that are happening in the same window and get to one of those. If this meet is that pivotal to your recruitment, then make something happen. College coaches are all aware this is happening, and I guarantee that finding a solution that works (even imperfectly) is going to be noticed in addition to whatever times you can put together by college coaches.

Meat
Reply to  Trying to get recruited
1 year ago

If your prospective college coach is that worried about times, maybe you need to be looking at other schools..

swimgeek
Reply to  Meat
1 year ago

Um, it’s kind of a college coach’s job to be worried about times of his/her athletes and recruits.

AJW
Reply to  Meat
1 year ago

What else would they be worried about lol

Meat
Reply to  AJW
1 year ago

Test scores? Attitude? As a current college coach, times aren’t the only thing we look for.

Patrick Collins
1 year ago

Sad this be posted before we as coaches can even inform our swimmers

Captain Ahab
1 year ago

I can’t believe they cancelled that event. It’s only 600 cases in the USA of the virus with 25 fatalities. More people die on the highway in one day than that.

PVSFree
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

No one wants to be held liable if someone contracts the virus at their event and dies. That’s why you’re seeing everyone taking steps to mitigate it. It’s incredibly contagious and there is no cure yet. The US is also suppressing testing, meaning we don’t have an accurate picture of how many people are actually infected.

Swimdad4
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

The people who are at risk are infants (who dont have the immune system to fight infection) and the elderly with respitory problems. If you are in either of those “at risk” groups dont travel and watch it from home on the live stream. The athletes participating in this event do not fit into either of those demographics. NCSA Orlando PLEASE dont cave to this media induced histeria.

Aquajosh
Reply to  Swimdad4
1 year ago

The athletes don’t, but their families, the officials, their coaches, might. Only one person has to catch it to spread it to their family and other families and so on. Italy shrugged this off as a common flu, and look where things are now.

run-dmc
Reply to  Swimdad4
1 year ago

Infants and children are not at risk.

Swimmer A
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

Viruses grow exponentially, so they’re not worried about right now, but rather where we’ll be at in the near future. Also, 25/600 is over 4%. If 100 million people contracted the virus in this country and 4% of them died that would be 4 million people.

Swimmlmstl
Reply to  Swimmer A
1 year ago

No cure. No vaccine. No treatment. People either survive, have “mild” case of pneumonia, need critical care or die.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Swimmlmstl
1 year ago

Early evidence indicates 15% of those over 80 y/o are dying from covid-19. Some sobering statistics unfortunately.

Ddb
Reply to  Swimmer A
1 year ago

Not quite. They follow a logistic growth curve

Swimmer A
Reply to  Ddb
1 year ago

I know, I thought about clarifying that. Logistic curves appear to be exponential but then level off at an inflection point. But most people don’t know about logistic growth, so I went with exponential growth to get the point across.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Swimmer A
1 year ago

I think it’s a misleading number to calculate known cases against fatalities because you don’t know how many people have come down with it that didn’t even know they had it.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

That’s what they said in Rome a couple weeks ago.

bigNowhere
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

It is not really 600 cases. See what happens once they start testing everyone.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

600 cases? That’s so yesterday. Take a look at the real-time tracker (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). There are 950 cases now, 28 deaths, and only 8 confirmed recoveries as of right now in the U.S. And that’s with practically no testing to confirm that those flu-like symptoms are COVID-119. It actually takes some time to die — go figure. Take a look at the exponential rise in cases in the bottom right corner. Basically the non-China places (including the U.S.) are doing the China curve, just shifted by a month.

ADL
1 year ago

This is crazy! These swimmers have worked so hard and now they are simply told “no meet”?!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  ADL
1 year ago

If that’s the worst thing that happens to this generation, they’re lucky. Could have been drafted for WWII, Vietnam, come out of college during the various financial crises —- oh, wait, maybe they will. Good luck.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »